The Wall’s cold. Alfred knows cold—winter is coming are his words, except they’re not his anymore, not in any way that matters. They belong to a boy who’s dead now, who took his vows and shucked off titles and crowns and crimes. He misses them sometimes, in the way men without legs miss their torn off limbs, can still feel them aching in the middle of the night.
But—the Wall is cold. Bitterly cold and some of the Riders say up north it grows colder is still. Winter is coming, they laugh and thump him on his back. What do the Starks know of winter, they mutter lower.
He spares thoughts for Matthew when he can afford to. Matthew, who sits lord in Winterfell and fights a war he’s ill-prepared for because family, duty, honor are the Tully’s words and they ring just as true as the Stark ones.
Alfred doesn’t have words anymore, nor does he even have the right to a voice to speak them with. But he has thoughts, and worries, and ravens sent secretly during the cold nights on the Wall.
Tomorrow he heads north with his new brothers.
Tonight he spares time for his old one.